In Memory of Professor Barry Litman
In Memory of Professor Barry Litman, 1949-2008
Dr. Barry Litman
March 14, 1949 to December 26, 2008
Born March 14, 1949, Dr. Barry Litman passed away December 26th at the age of 59 following a brave battle with cancer.
Dr. Litman was a professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University for more than 30 years, specializing in the economics of broadcasting, mass media, and the entertainment industries. He was a graduate of Wayne State University where he was a member of the varsity tennis team. He earned his doctorate of philosophy degree in 1976 from Michigan State University under the direction of former MSU President and Economics Professor Walter Adams.
In addition to serving as professor, Dr. Litman was Chair of the department for six years, was a board member and honorary member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and authored several books including, “The Vertical Structure of the Television Broadcast Industry: The Coalescence of Power”, and more recently, “The Motion Picture Mega Industry.” He also authored and co-authored more than 50 articles in academic journals and papers in broadcasting economics.
Dr. Litman was one of the earliest of economists to specialize in media and telecommunications industries. He made a major theoretical contribution to the field in his advancement of the Rosse "umbrella model" of newspaper competition. He was active in the Broadcast Education Association, serving on the economics and research committees. Many of his former Ph.D. students are in teaching, research, and executive positions in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.
Dr. Litman is survived by his wife, Leslie (Zucker) Litman; daughter Pearl and triplet sons Daniel, Brandon and Jonathan; brother Joel and wife Barbara Litman; mother-in-law Josephine Zucker, sister-in-law Kimberly Zucker, brother-in-law Craig and wife Michele Zucker, nephews Ryan and Bradley Zucker; and also survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins, and a world of devoted students. He is preceded in death by his parents Roseyln and Herman Litman.
A funeral service was held on Monday, December 29 at the Ira Kaufman Chapel, 18325 W. 9 Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan with the interment to follow at Machpelah Cemetery in Ferndale, Michigan. Former colleagues, Dr. Bradley Greenberg, Dr. Thomas Baldwin, and Dr. Thomas Muth served as pall bearers. Dr. Greenberg delivered the eulogy.
Current students, MSU alumni, staff, family friends, and faculty colleagues of the late Barry Litman are sharing stories and expressing their condolences at Facebook group established in his memory. Former students have posted comments about Barry's impact on their lives and careers, his skill as a lecturer, his pioneering work in media economics, and his encylopedic knowledge of media history.
Those who wish to visit, can do so by visiting the following web address:
A Facebook account is not needed to view the page.
In addition to the Facebook Group, one former PhD student, Hugh Martin, now an Associate Professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, posted a long entry about Barry Litman on his Economics of Media blog.
Finally, please note that an education fund has been established for Barry's sons. Checks can be made out to: Brandon, Jonathan, and Daniel Litman and sent to:
Attention: MC8368 – Mary K Sebrell
PO Box 310659
Detroit MI 48231-9967
or sent to:
c/o Leslie Litman
1725 Mount Vernon Ave.,
East Lansing, MI 48823-3742